One of the Best Places in the World to Spot Humpback Whales.
Costa Rican waters are home to dozens of marine mammal species and spotted, or bottle nose dolphins commonly escort small craft on any offshore excursion.
Costa Rica is a prime whale watching destination and it is all thanks to the spectacular annual migration of two groups of humpback whales. When winter comes to the south in June the Antarctic whales have built their blubber reserves in preparation for the longest migration in the animal kingdom and head north along the coasts of Chile and Ecuador to the tropical waters of Central America that their cousins from the north vacated a few weeks earlier.
Each group arrives in Costa Rica at the beginning of their respective winter and stay until spring comes to their home.
The best dates are from July when the Antarctic whales arrive to stay until about November. Of course the whales are wild and there is never any guarantee that you’ll see them, but your captain and guides will be in constant contact by radio with other boats all using GPS and knowledge of the recent movements of the animals in the area.
Where to see them
Although it is possible to see humpback whales along many parts of Costa Rica’s
Pacific Coast, they tend to congregate in the Southern Pacific. The most popular place for humpback whale sightings are at Marino Ballena National Park (protected area of both land and ocean).
One of the best times to take a whale watching tour is during the Annual Whale and Dolphin Festival in Uvita. This festival occurs every year during peak season, typically in early September, so your chances of spotting whales is almost guaranteed.
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